'Anata-Shu'afat, 'Isawiya (East Jerusalem)
Numerous pupils disembarked from their buses outside the camp, and crossed through the turnstiles to enter the camp.
We went in and saw an enormous line of cars. From talk with the drivers we learned that they have to wait for half an hour to one hour (depending on where they join the line) in order to leave their neighbourhood which, as we know, is part of united Jerusalem.
We left via the pedestrian checkpoint. 20 waited ahead of us. Crossing time was 15 minutes. People said that since our arrival the tempo had picked up. We asked why only one window was open and were told it was because of the x-ray machine.
Of course it's always possible for 2 persons to put their belongings on the machine as is done at the airport.
Upon exit, we observed the pace of cars crossing.
Only two lanes were open, and the rate was 1/2 a minute for each car. For both lanes 20 cars crossed in 10 minutes.
The policemen there immediately took the trouble to shoo us off, claiming we were in the way. This, of course, was not the case. We stood at a distance behind a fence on the pedestrian path, which was free, without getting in the way of any one crossing. Obviously, the bother had to do with the presence of someone observing.
From one of the buses all the passengers were made to disembark, including women with babies and elderly folk who required the use of canes.
There were no soldiers at the Isawiya checkpoint, only the concrete blocks which impede traffic.